The State Management Story

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The State Management Story logoThe State Management Scheme was introduced into Carlisle and the surrounding area in 1916 as an attempt by the Government to control the drinking habits of the people in the area and reduce drunkenness during the First World War.

Navvies from the Gretna munitions works (the largest munitions factory in Europe) flooded into Carlisle with high wages and a thirst to quench. Female munitions workers awaited them. The resultant wild behaviour shocked the respectable citizens of Carlisle. Also hung-over munitions workers and explosives did not mix.

As World War I raged, 1916 saw the cause of Irish Nationalism explode into bloody conflict on Dublin’s streets. Many navvies were Irishmen. Could rebellion spread to Britain? Alcohol was to be curbed to dampen revolutionary fire.

The government took over the ownership and running of Carlisle’s 119 pubs and off licenses, many were closed immediately and a whole new approach to drinking took place. The strength of alcohol was reduced, opening and closing times were restricted and the whole atmosphere was changed.

State Management in Carlisle lasted until 1973 and saw many changes in that period. Positive recreation and games were encouraged to turn men away from drink. Bowling greens appeared. Many notable buildings were designed by the architect Harry Redfern under the scheme's tenure. All such measures were to change the image of drinking.

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The State Management Story

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